Hendricken principal retires after 'inflammatory' video surfaces
The principal of a Warwick high school retired Wednesday after a video of him making racial and anti-Semitic slurs surfaced.
A parent sent NBC 10 News a six-second video clip of Bishop Hendrick High School Principal Jay Brennan sitting behind a desk in an office at the school.
"That way, I can take care of all the n------ and the k----," Brennan says while smiling.
The school's president sent a letter to parents, explaining the circumstances.
"We recently were made aware of a six-second video clip from the past with a statement made by Mr. Jay Brennan which includes inflammatory language," President John A. Jackson notes in the letter. "The video clip, which is under review, has no context and Mr. Brennan was being secretly recorded, but clearly the language is inappropriate. We will not tolerate inflammatory language in any context."
Jackson added that Brennan has had more than a 40-year career at the all-boys Catholic school and has provided "unfailing support for the ideals and mission of our school."
He also said it "is a difficult time for our community, but through prayer and the continued efforts of our students, families, faculty, staff and alumni, Bishop Hendricken will continue to provide the best Catholic education available in our state."
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin later issued a statement about the comments. He said he is both stunned and sorry.
"The incident seems completely out of character for a good man who has the reputation of being a fine Christian gentleman and an exemplary Catholic educator," the bishop said. "Nonetheless, the administration of the school has taken the incident very seriously and has responded quickly and appropriately."
Tobin also said that "racism is a sin, a grave sin, and expressions of racism will simply not be tolerated by any employee of the Diocese of Providence, its agencies or institutions. On behalf of the Diocese of Providence I sincerely apologize to any group or individuals who have been offended -- and rightly so -- by the language which appears on the video."
When NBC 10 visited Brennan at his Seekonk home Wednesday night, he refused to comment.